May the Peace of Christ Reign in our hearts.
Recently I saw a facebook announcement for a 5 keg party and I thought to myself ….. that’s a lot of beer.
(Sometimes people obviously forget that when they “friend me” I see all of their status updates.)
Being an inquisitive soul, I asked myself how many gallons 5 kegs would make?
The incredible internet told me that each keg has 15.5 gallons so 5 kegs is 77.5 gallons of beer
It sounds like a lot but a five keg party has nothing on the wedding feast of Cana.
With his first miracle Jesus made 120 gallons or 444 bottles of wine…That’s a real lot of wine.
Lots of things pop into our heads when we read the story of the wedding feast of Cana.
First we learn a lot about Mary.
Cana was very close to Nazareth which was where Mary and Jesus lived.
St. Jerome says you could see Cana from Nazareth.
Mary must have known the couple getting married because she and Jesus were invited to the wedding.
Mary seems to have been involved in the preparation of the wedding because she knew the wine was running out and when she spoke the stewards listened to her and sprang into action.
The account clearly shows us that Mary was compassionate she didn’t want the Bride and Groom embarrassed.
It shows us that Mary understood what Jesus could do.
When she told Him about the problem she didn’t think He was going to go to the wine vendor and buy some.
She knew a miracle would follow.
And finally Mary seems to have understood Jesus’ mission.
She knew it was time to start even though it appears that he didn’t.
She knew what the miracle would start.
She knew how much it would cost her
She knew Jesus would be leaving home.
She had experienced the incredible grace of God in her lives and She knew he was calling her to let go…
Every mom, every parent someday has to let go…
They know it and it is never easy to do.
When he was 12 Jesus he left his parents in Jerusalem and wanted to preach in the Temple.
When they found him he said that he had to be about his Father’s business.
Mary told him to come home and he did.
Now it seems that Mary had to convince him that it was time to leave home and begin His Father’s business.
The account also teaches us a lot about Jesus.
As we heard he was at a wedding with his disciples.
Jesus was not afraid to have fun
Jesus was not afraid of wine. He made 120 gallons of it.
Jesus was a real person who mixed with real people
Jesus loved his Mother.
When he called her “Woman” the biblical scholars tell us it was like calling her Ma’am and that he was expressing his respect for her.
And we know that with this first miracle Jesus was in… as they say.
There was no turning back.
When he left the party he began his eventual journey to Jerusalem and the Cross.
The Gospel of John is very complex filled with symbolism
It is the last Gospel written.
It reflects not only the real events in the life of Jesus
but also the faith of the church which had mediated on his life and works for many years.
By the time the Gospel was written many people had given their lives rather than renounce their faith in Jesus.
Some say that John chose to mention 6 large stone vessels because that was one less than seven because he wanted to show that with Jesus’ ministry that the faith of the Jewish people was be made complete .
The scholars tell us that the account shows us that God’s grace is recklessly abundant
just like the wine Jesus created at Cana was recklessly abundant.
The Gospel also teaches us a lot about ourselves.
It gives us the hope that just as Jesus was compassionate on the host at the wedding he will be compassionate to us.
It reminds us that he understands normal people with normal problems in everyday situations.
Jesus did not sit back, removed and aloof from people
He was present in their lives
And we have to have faith that he is willing to be present in every day and every moment of our lives
Jesus is with us
When we are good
When we are bad
When we have we celebrate and have fun
When we are lonely
When we are afraid
He is with us when we pray and when we play.
He may even be with us at the Thirsty Turtle… (Yikes)
Do they serve wine there ?
Don’t forget Jesus made 120 gallons of wine…
Like Jesus and Mary we too have to discern when it is time to follow God’s will.
Mary and Jesus were willing let go of a wonderful life they shared together in Nazareth because it was time.
We have also have to be willing to let go.
When God calls
We have to let go of our plans and our comfort
and even the ones we love.
We were created to follow Jesus’ example and live our lives as God would have us live them.
Over the 30 years that Jesus lived quietly with his mother and father in Nazareth he must have repeatedly meditated on God’s plan for him.
So too must we.
The compassion that Mary and Jesus shared for the bride and the groom should inspire us to be compassionate people and a compassionate Church.
When the hosts ran out of wine…. A very embarrassing thing indeed.
Mary and Jesus didn’t say…
Oh they should have planned better.
Or that the problems was their own fault.
Or It’s none of my business, not my problem.
Their compassion led them to help.
So often we use the the faults of others to withhold our compassion from them.
That’s not what Jesus and Mary did… that’s not what we should do.
When faced with a difficult situation
Mary simply told the stewards do whatever he tells you.
She challenges us to do the same.
Good advice indeed.
Here’s another really good reflection on the Wedding feast of Cana check it out.
Small correction. Check the gospel. Christ did not have to be told it was time to begin: He had collected the first disciples just prior to the wedding and brought them with Him. Seeing them Mary grew fearful knowing a sword would pierce her own heart but she knew that this was it: He was going public. And she obeyed this moment by asking Him for the miracle but with a look of apprehension in her face for Him.
Ignore all English translations for what happens next. He does not say the many English rude sentences that are put in His mouth.
He literally says, "Woman, what is this to me and to you...my hour has not yet come."
Which hour? The hour to go public or the hour to suffer and die? This is John's gospel and John uses "the hour" to mean the same thing in various parts of the gospel...the hour to die. Christ was already going public by picking the disciples prior to Cana.
Christ was saying to Mary: what is this to me and to thee....in short, Mary I am not going to die so soon...it is off in the future even if I do a miracle here and now.
That is why Mary heard a clear yes while Augustine and Chrysostom heard other wise and hence influenced the sense for sense translations that make Christ sound rude. This was a place for word for word translating and Jerome did that. Which see.
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